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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 25, 2004
Contact: Brian Keeter, 202-366-0660
FHWA 18-04

Nation's Top Highway Official Dedicates Key Dayton, Ohio, Interstate Interchange to State's Military Personnel

'Freedom Veterans Crossroads' is Site of Massive Overhaul to Boost Local Commercial Corridors

A key highway interchange that is undergoing a major renovation will be dedicated to Ohio military personnel serving in the war on terror, Federal Highway Administrator Mary E. Peters announced today at an event overlooking the interchange.

The I-70/75 Interchange near Dayton, Ohio, will now be called "Freedom Veterans Crossroads."

"The men and women we honor today are protecting our freedom and fighting for our right to safety and prosperity," said Peters. "Our hope is that the growth and opportunity this interchange brings will reflect on the dedication, honor and sacrifice of Ohio's finest."

Earlier this year, federal and state transportation officials began exploring ways to recognize Ohioans who serve in the military. The result was a decision to have the Ohio Department of Transportation order the renaming of the I-70/75 Interchange in Dayton.

The $145-million project will overhaul the existing cloverleaf interchange by reconstructing seven miles of interstate highway, eight ramps and 17 bridges. It will transform the current structure's narrow shoulders and weaving sections into what Peters described as one of the most safe, modern and efficient interstate crossroads in the country.

The new interchange will increase vehicular capacity by constructing several new ramps, including a one-half mile flyover ramp, and a new service interchange at Benchwood and Wyse Roads. It will also include a new railroad bridge over I-70, just east of the interchange, and eliminate the unsafe weaving movements vehicles are now forced to negotiate.

The Dayton area is a hub for warehousing and distribution, automotive services, tooling and machining, aerospace, information technology and other growing industries that rely upon by the I-70 and I-75 corridors to move freight throughout the region, Peters noted.

"The new interchange will be an economic driver that keeps opportunity rolling into Ohio," said Peters.

In the last 10 years, more than 5 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space has sprouted up in and around Dayton because of its strategic location and accessibility, Peters explained.

The interchange now carries more than 156,000 vehicles per day and is expected to grow to 198,000 vehicles per day in 2020. It serves commercial and recreational traffic from Michigan to Florida and from Utah to Maryland.

Peters joined Gordon Proctor, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, and Brigadier General Richard Green, Ohio's Assistant Adjutant General for Air, at the event attended by local military officials and veterans groups.

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